Indiana pastor confesses to past ‘adultery’ with 16-year-old worshiper

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The Reverend John Lowe II ended Sunday’s church service with a confession to his congregation.

“I committed adultery,” he told congregants at New Life Christian Church & World Outreach in Warsaw, Ind.

Lowe, who has been with his wife for more than 45 years, said his infidelity happened 20 years ago with one person, lasted ‘far too long’ and was kept secret from his family and flock .

” I have sinned. I need to say it, and you deserve to hear it.

Lowe, 65, received a standing ovation for his cleanliness. But moments later, a woman came to the lectern, took the microphone, and told her side of the story, starting with a correction: It happened 27 years ago, not 20, he said. she says.

The woman, now in her 40s, also added an important detail.

“I was only 16 when you took my virginity from your office. Do you remember that? I know you did,” she told her longtime pastor, describing herself as “a victim.” .

The exchange between Lowe and one of his followers was captured in a 14-minute video posted that morning on Facebook. New Life church leaders later released a statement saying that ahead of Sunday service, an unidentified woman “who has lovingly attended and served in the church for many years” had recently informed them of Lowe’s “inappropriate sexual conduct” which began “many years ago”. when she was 16. When those leaders confronted Lowe, he admitted to what the church described as “adultery.” On Sunday, the pastor ascended the pulpit to publicly confess and announce his resignation.

Neither the church nor Lowe immediately responded to a Post request for comment Monday night.

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Local prosecutors told WANE they are investigating what happened decades ago between Lowe and the teenager. The Kosciusko County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post early Tuesday.

When the woman took the microphone on Sunday, she began by saying that she had lived in “a prison of lies and shame” for almost three decades. For years, she says, she blamed herself for the sexual relationship her pastor initiated. She thought she was a horrible person and contemplated suicide. She lied to protect Lowe and his family, she said, and others did too: “People knew but were too scared to come forward.”

“Nobody ever came to me. Nobody ever helped me. No one ever advised me,” she added.

New Life Church said in its statement that it has been preaching a “crossover message of repentance, forgiveness and restoration” for 42 years. The woman told congregants that “this church was built on lies, but no more.”

“The lies and manipulation must stop,” she said.

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This process began several weeks ago when she said her brother came to tell her that, even decades later, he was still bothered by what he saw as a teenager: his pastor in bed with her younger sister. Her concern led the woman to tell New Life church leaders what Lowe had done.

“You did things to my teenage body that never had and never should have been done,” she told him as they stood onstage at the end of the church service, adding that “the church deserves to know the truth”.

“I could tell story after story after story about what you did to me.”

Then she turned to Lowe’s adult son.

“Your father is not the victim here. A partial truth is not true.

She eventually left the stage with her husband, who briefly addressed the crowd to say that Lowe’s sexual relationship with his wife lasted nine years. Lowe took the mic again. The faithful who had given their pastor a standing ovation a few minutes earlier heckled him and shouted questions.

“If you did, you have to admit it!” one said.

“Did you do it?” shouted another.

Yes, Lowe told them, he had had sex with one of his followers from the age of 16.

“It was wrong,” he said, adding, “There’s nothing I can do about it except tell you that if I could go back and do it all over again, I would. I can’t, and all that I can do is ask you to forgive me.

Next, Lowe gave the microphone to a man who was leading the church in prayer as Lowe walked down to the space between the stage and the pews of the church. As he stood in front, a devotee approached and hugged him. Several others came to form a prayer circle with Lowe, putting their hands on the others’ shoulders. One by one more flocked to the front, and soon dozens surrounded the disgraced pastor.

“God, I pray for this body that has been hurt, that you begin to heal us, Lord,” the man at the pulpit said, later adding, “All sin has consequences.”

Not everyone was ready to join the prayer circle and forgive Lowe.

“I’m not watching,” one man said off-camera.

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